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Lesbian Health Center Cash Crisis

Lesbian Health Center Cash Crisis


Since the days of Jimmy Carter and Anita Bryant, Lyon-Martin Health Services has provided affordable health care to the Bay Area's marginalized lesbian community. Now, 32 years after gay rights pioneers Phyllis Lyon (left) and partner Del Martin (right; who passed away in 2008) opened the center, the San Francisco institution is struggling to survive.

Lyon-Martin -- which provides everything from cancer screenings to HIV care -- is in the middle of an extreme cash shortage that puts it in risk of shutting down. The president of the center's board of directors, Lauren Winter, tells The Advocate that the center needs $250,000 to keep their doors open, but, thankfully, recent donations have come in totaling over $200,000.

"Fundraising is going amazingly well," Winter says. "We're not out of the woods yet, but as far as clinic closure, things are looking better. We're still taking appointments."

Winter says the economy has done a number on the center's finances, but she's thankful that all sectors of San Francisco's LGBT community have come out to help the center in its time of need.

"I guess the community loves us," Winter says, noting that men, women, and transgender people have all opened their checkbooks for Lyon-Martin. "But it's a wake-up call for all LGBT clinics. We have to work together and donate together to keep services like this around."

Click here to learn more and donate.

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